Tip of the Day: Getting Panning Right

• To pan without using a tripod, position your body so you’re facing in the direction at the end of the pan. Then twist to the start position and untwist while you follow the action smoothly, triggering the shutter when you want to snap a picture.

Camera panning (following the subject with your camera, keeping the subject sharp and the background blurred) isn’t easy. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

• You can pan hand-held or with your camera mounted on a tripod that has a swiveling panorama head, experiment with what works best for you and your shooting environment.

• To pan without using a tripod, position your body so you’re facing in the direction at the end of the pan. Then twist to the start position and untwist while you follow the action smoothly, triggering the shutter when you want to snap a picture.

• To pan with a tripod, make sure the tripod and pan head are level with the direction of the movement so that when you rotate the camera it follows the action smoothly.

• Try out your pan a few times before you actually take a picture.

• Don’t use jerky movements. Follow the movement of you subject closely.

Adapted from Digital SLR Cameras & Photography for Dummies by David D. Busch (Wiley, 2007, $30) (photo by J Catlett)

ADVERTISEMENT